About seven or eight years ago, I, Michelle Devon (better known on the internet as Michy) started doing book reviews, mostly for fun, at first, and then later to help out some author friends I’d met online by reviewing books they wrote, and then expanding into reviewing books for all sorts of authors. I enjoyed reviewing books, even have had some published in print magazines that accept reviews, and have had them shared widely online. I’m in the Top 4K of Amazon reviews, and will probably continue to move up the ranks there in time.
But for now, at least on my blog here, I have made the relatively easy decision–though easy doesn’t mean it’s not emotional–to stop doing book reviews… at least, like I said, for now. Why? Lots of reasons, some very personal, some professional, and some because of the industry. Let’s look at a few of my reasons:
- I was diagnosed with a terminal illness. You can follow my posts and information about that on my blog DYING TO LIVE, by clicking that link. With my health issues, being in and out of the hospital and spending a lot of time in doctor’s offices and ER waiting rooms, I have a lot of time to read, but not a lot of time to write book reviews. When time is counted in days, and weeks, and months, not years and decades, priorities change.
- I don’t have time to do everything I want to do, and something has to give. In this instance, it’s book reviews. Some folks don’t read 100 books in a year, and I received requests for that many reviews in just two weeks. I was literally turning people away every day, first setting it out 6-8 weeks, then 12 weeks, then saying it might take 3-4 months, and then eventually just saying I wasn’t taking any reviews, and still the requests came in. I’m a writer too, and I need time to write my own books as well as read for pleasure.
- This is the one that is going to be the toughest to be honest about, but it’s a huge part of why I’m stopping book reviews except for the four publishers I’m working with. It has to do with Indie Authors. Yes, the self-published authors who are seeking those all-important book reviews to get the buzz out about their books. I am an indie author myself, of novellas, currently available on Amazon and B&N and other fine online retailers. I am also a trade-published author, having been published with a few different small to mid-sized presses and in magazines and such. I know the editing process stories are supposed to go through. I’ve been on both ends of the editing desk, personally and professionally. I support the indie movement, but I have to say, for every one fantastic indie self-published book I read, I have slogged through 20 books that look like first drafts, but were published as final copies.
I literally can’t stand to read one more badly formatted, poorly edited, amateurishly written book and try to find something, anything, nice to say about it in a review. But at the same time, I don’t want to smash and dash an author’s dreams and hopes or trash their ‘baby’ that is their book. But I have my integrity, which means I can’t give a good review to a bad book; and I can’t give a bad review to a good person, even if the book is deserving. I don’t have the balls for it, as they say. I have received some books that are so badly written, I can’t even finish reading past the first chapter or two–how can I review a book like that fairly? Then there are the gems, and to be sure, there ARE some fantastic, brilliantly written indie books out there that deserve so much more recognition than they are getting. Then there are some indie books that are really good books, books that would be a pleasure to read. I’d say it’s about the same as trade publishing in that there are good, bad and in between books, but the truth is, there are far more bad books in indie publishing than trade publishing, and the depth of the ‘badness’ is much, much deeper.
So from this point forward, with the exception of ARCs from publishers, I will only be reviewing books I want to review, based on books I have chosen on my own to read, and then I will only be reviewing those book on Amazon–not on my blog. Please, don’t ask me to review your book. The answer will be no.
All that said, I DO still want to help authors succeed, and help books get into the hands of people who might enjoy them. To that end, I’m keeping this site so that I can share book buzz with everyone: Author interviews, guest blog posts, book news, cover reveals, industry news in the publishing world, information about when certain books might have freebie days or are going on sale, etc. If you’re an author, and you have book news or author news to share with my readers, then send it my way. I’ll post press releases for when you’re doing a book signings too. Send me what you have, and if I think my readers might enjoy it, I’ll post it.
Things you can send me:
- Guest blog posts
- Book excerpts or teasers
- Press releases about book launches of author signings
- Cover reveals
- Author interviews
- Industry news / editorial / opinion pieces about publishing news
- Anything book related that isn’t about services (ie: no editing, publishing, submissions sales pitches, etc)
Things you cannot send me:
- Book review requests
- Advertisements for publishing packages, editing, or any services of the like
- Anything political in nature that isn’t about books
Everything posted on this blog is posted for free. Michy doesn’t charge anything for interviews, guest blogs, cover reveals, posts, exposure, links or anything. If what you send to me is publishable, I will publish it–while I might edit for obvious typos, I will not edit anything you send, so have it as good as you want it before you send it. I don’t edit for content, either, but will not accept anything that bashes anyone, is too ‘politically incorrect’, is about hatred/hate or other such negativity things.
Thank you to everyone for your understanding and for following my simple requests. Now, if you’re an author, pick up your author interview today and send it back and get some live links going to your books and author website!
If you have any questions, just email me at email@example.com — just don’t ask for reviews!
Happy reading & writing!